Microsoft has revealed early access to its Windows 8 operating system after releasing the product to its manufacturing partners.
After two years of development the project has been distributed, with the next milestone forecast for general availability of new PC models loaded with the software on October 26.
Some Microsoft customers and partners will get earlier access on August 15 however, including developers, who can download the OS through their Microsoft Developer Network subscriptions.
"Today marks an important milestone in the Windows 8 project,” says Steven Sinofsky, Microsoft vice president.
"The Windows 8 team is proud to share with you that a short while ago we started releasing Windows 8 to PC OEM and manufacturing partners.
"With improvements in fundamentals, enhanced storage and connectivity, newly architected subsystems, the "fast and fluid” user experience, and the WinRT platform (to name a few), Windows 8 has literally thousands of new features.
"We did a record number of blogs posts (and videos) and did not even come close to covering the full breadth of Windows 8. There’s much left to learn about and discover in the product.
"Some of the most exciting innovations with Windows 8 are yet to come—the innovations from developers building apps on the new WinRT platform.
"Today, the Store is open for business and we’ll rapidly expand to over 200 markets around the world.
"The opportunity for developers around the world to deliver innovative (and profitable) apps is unique with Windows 8. We’re excited to see the work developers will be bringing to Windows 8.
"We’ll also have a chance to talk more about the Windows 8 platform at the next BUILD conference recently announced.”
What do you think of the new Windows 8? Let us know your comments below?